I got into a very heated discussion with someone this week and in the end we had to agree to disagree. The discussion was about sex offenders and keeping our children safe from them, an issue that I am passionate about! It has been 4 days since this conversation, but I'm still fired up about it.
The part of the discussion that was the most frustrating for me was when this person claimed that I was not leaving room for God's power to change a person if I would never again trust someone who was a child sex offender. This website on pg 16 quotes an offender and shows why it is so important not to easily trust: “I considered church people easy to fool…they have a trust that comes from being
Christians…they seem to want to believe in the good that exists in all people…I think
they want to believe in people. And because of that, you can easily convince, with or
without convincing words” (Anna Salter, Predators, p 29). (I would recommend that you read the entire talk because it is very informative) My belief is that if an offender has truly changed then they will understand that for the rest of their life there will be consequences for their past actions. Some of those consequences should be safeguards being set up so that they don't have contact with children. That is for everyone's safety! If you have hurt a child in this way you have NO business ever being allowed (or wanting to be) near children again.
Part of our discussion involved the grooming process. This is such a misunderstood concept! The process that a sex offender goes through to groom a child can be very subtle! It can be as simple as giving a child special privileges, showing favoritism, finding common interests with the child, or buying them simple gifts. This website gives even more behaviors that sex offenders use to groom potential victims. Basically they get the child and even you as the parent to trust them so that they can have access to your child.
I implore you if you have children to please be vigilant! Protect your children at all costs, and PLEASE DO NOT TRUST a sex offender (or allow them to be near your child) just because they tell you that they have "converted or been changed by God". I can't even begin to tell you just how easy this is for people to fake. Please educate yourself about the dangers of these offenders and how to protect your children! Our children are FAR too precious for us not to do all in our power to protect them!